Wales’ first 2017 World Cup European Pool A qualifying match against Serbia, at Parc Stebonheath Llanelli, on Saturday 15 October, is to be shown live on S4C. It is the first time that the Welsh language broadcaster has shown live rugby league since 2008 and the first time that the Welsh national side has featured live on the station since the 1995 World Cup.
The match kick-off time will now be at 3pm rather than 6pm, with S4C coverage starting at 2.45pm, and will be available in both Welsh and English language throughout the UK, with the English version available on the red button service. The winner of the pool, which also includes Italy who Wales face in Monza, goes straight through to the 2017 Rugby League World Cup finals in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, with the runners up taking on the second place side from Pool B, involving Ireland, Spain and Russia, in a play-off at Leigh Centurions, on 4 November.
Wales’ head coach John Kear commented:
“This is tremendous news. S4C showed highlights of our European Championship winning campaign and the fact that they’ve now chosen to show our World Cup game against Serbia live and free to air is testimony to the improved performances of the squad and awareness of the game.
“S4C’s broadcast will bring a new audience to the game and we want the television public to enjoy it. We now need to ensure that the ground is full to add to the atmosphere and then nail that result.”
S4C Sports Editor, Sue Butler noted:
"We're very pleased to include live coverage of this Qualifiers match as part of our sports portfolio. We wish the side the very best of luck as they represent Wales on an international stage and look forward to providing this exclusively live broadcast."
S4C is available on a range of TV and online platforms across the UK. In Wales on Freeview 4, Sky 104, Freesat 104 and Virgin 166, and across the UK on Sky 134, Freesat 120, Virgin 166. Also live and on demand online on s4c.cymru as well as BBC iPlayer, YouView and other platforms.